Ahh...spring is just around the corner. Not only will Off-Broadway be getting Alan Zweibel's play, Bunny, Bunny, but audiences are invited to hop over to the 11th annual Easter Bonnet Competition, April 7-8.
Similar in concept to the annual, holiday-time "Gypsy Of The Year" competition, the 2-day "Broadway spectacular" features companies of over 20 shows shing, dancing and wearing "exclusively designed, one-of-a-kind bonnets." Last year's Bonnet bash raised $1,304,525 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS -- an all-time record for a BC/EFA event.
The event caps six weeks of intensive fundraising by the industry to combat, and provide care for sufferers of, HIV and AIDS. Curtain speeches are given by stars across the country to raise money for the cause, and sales of autographs, posters and auctioned theatre merchandise also bring in "hundreds of thousands of dollars."
First prize in the Bonnet competition goes to the company raising the most money for BC/EFA. There's also a special Off-Broadway award, since it's not fair to pit Broadway-sized houses against under-500 seats venues. Target Stores, a division of Dayton-Hudson Department Stores, is sponsoring the event. The company will match up to $100,000, the greatest amount raised by one of the Broadway shows this year.
And, since each Broadway and Off-Broadway company participating in the contest tries to top the other in clever and outrageous fashions for the chapeau, a second prize will be given for best bonnet design. Since Oct. 1997, BC/EFA has distributed millions in the fight against AIDS, and helped raise far more through "mobilizing the expertise of the entertainment industry."
For tickets ($20-$50, also $125 VIP seats) and information on the BC/EFA Easter Bonnet Competition at the Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway (home of Beauty & The Beast), April 7 at 4:30 PM and April 8 at 4 PM, call (212) 840-0770.
For a look at last year's Competition, please see Playbill On-Line's story, "Fun At Easter Bonnet Competition."
--By David Lefkowitz